Before tonight, Markakis was in a 12-for-70 (.171) slump that had dropped his average from .268 to .207. Fans want him lowered in the order. They want him benched. They want him placed on waivers and let go like Alex Rios.
I doubt that tonight's game will silence the critics. He'll need to heat to a boil for that to happen. But at least he's looking much better at the plate than we've seen for quite a while.
Speaking of turnarounds, how about Jake Arrieta?
After throwing 48 pitches through two innings, he's made it through the sixth at 92 pitches (52 for strikes). And he's held the Royals to one run and three hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Update: Arrieta is done after seven innings and 105 pitches, including 61 for strikes. He allowed one run and three hits, with two walks and eight strikeouts, after getting off to a shaky start. He retired 15 of the last 16 Royals, and his ERA is down to 4.35.
Mark Reynolds has three singles and a walk tonight. Maybe the eighth spot is working for him.